Monday, June 6, 2016

Key West - Day 5

On Day 5 we were scheduled to take a catamaran ride out to the reefs to do some snorkeling.  We were really looking forward to this as we'd never been on a catamaran before.  Unfortunately, we woke to a huge thunderstorm so the tour was cancelled.  We quickly pulled out my i pad and started mapping out our options.  We always have a plan B in mind for exactly this scenario so we had some ideas in mind.

We weren't about to sit in the hotel, so we got dressed and drove back to the parking garage from yesterday, purchased an all-day parking pass and took off on foot in the rain.  What else are ya gonna do, right?

The first place we stopped at was the Audubon House.   It was originally built by Captain John Huling Geiger in the 1840's and his family resided there for over a century.  The captain was a harbor pilot and master wrecker and was one of Key West's wealthiest men.  The house/museum now houses 28 first edition works of John James Audubon.  I'm a great admirer of the famous ornithologist and I reviewed a book on his original watercolors - Audubon's Aviary.  You can read my review here.  I also visited Audubon State Park in Henderson, Ky and wrote about it here.  Whenever we come across any place that has to do with Audubon, we try to visit.

The gardens were lovely, even in the pouring rain.  When we arrived and purchased our tickets, they graciously lent us an umbrella to use so we could stroll through the gardens...

The orchids were gorgeous!

Love the outhouse sign....

The cookhouse....

Sitting on the back porch, trying to dry out before we viewed the museum...

We were rather soaked, so we slipped on booties to keep our wet shoes from damaging the carpets...

I so enjoyed seeing the original prints.

I keep my eyes open for copies of the prints when I go to estate sales and so far I have scored 3 of them...

By the time we were finished at the Audubon House the rain had let up a little.  We walked back to our car and decided to drive over to Fort Zachery Taylor State Park and take a walk around...

Fort Taylor served as headquarters for the U.S. Navy's East Gulf Coast blockade squadron for the Union during the Civil War..

We really enjoy walking around old forts and it's especially nice when you have the freedom to wander around and explore on your own.  Plus, this one was free and I like free!

This was the chapel...

Outside the fort was a cooking area....

Since we were in the area we also grabbed a geocache, appropriately named,  Fort Zachery Taylor .  The cache was hidden somewhere nearby....

We drove back to our hotel, parked the car and then walked over to the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory.    This was one stop that Chablis had really wanted to make this trip.  We'd never been to a butterfly house before and let me tell you, it was a cool experience.  It's sort of like a hot house with a lot of flowers and plants, and you walk down a winding path.  Everywhere you look, there are butterflies flitting about.  It was perfectly enchanting!

There were also beautiful little birds....

I adored the flamingo's.  I think it was mating season and they were strutting and calling to each other constantly.  It was quite amusing....

This little turtle had climbed out of a stream and was clutching onto some rocks...

It wasn't a long tour and it took less than an hour, but we were glad we did it...

Chablis decided she wanted to try one of the coconut drinks that we saw a lot of people carrying around so we walked down Duval Street until we found the place that sold them.  She liked it - I didn't.

We had wanted to walk through the Oldest House in Key West so we headed there next.  The house was originally built in 1829 by Richard Cussans.  Captain Francis Watlington later came to gain possession of the house and his family lived there for many decades.

The house and tour are also free!

We had a lovely chat with one of the docents who clearly enjoyed his job and walked around the entire house sharing information...

The backyard has a spacious garden where we sat and relaxed for awhile...

Yes, we did peer through the moon of the outhouse...

By then it was mid afternoon so we grabbed 2 slices of pizza for lunch.  I'm sorry but I don't remember the name of the place.  Then we headed back to the hotel and lounged by the pool for a couple of hours.  For dinner we had chosen The Conch Republic Seafood Company .  Remember the all day parking pass we had purchased earlier in the day?  Well, we put it to good use, drove back to the parking garage and then walked 2 blocks to the restaurant.

One thing I really loved about most of the Key West restaurants is the open window dining.  I was amazed by the lack of bugs, flies and mosquitoes.  It's so nice to sit with a fresh breeze and enjoy the sights and sounds while you eat - especially the restaurants by the water.    Just fantastic!

I highly recommend this restaurant.  The food was amazing and we had the best waiter.  He was pleasant, friendly and took great care of us.  I'm sorry that I don't remember his name because I'd like to give him a shout out!   I had the best stuffed shrimp wrapped in bacon - Everything about this meal was perfect.

Chablis had a taste for a cheeseburger and she said it was done perfectly.  It was huge and extremely juicy.

After dinner we walked around the wharf for awhile and then headed back to our hotel.  It was our last night in Key West and we had to get up early and head to Key Largo for our last snorkeling trip.  Stayed tuned for my last post coming soon.
Link to day 6 here.


  1. You have the right idea...not to waste a minute of your time there. I would LOVE the Audubon house! I'm so glad you took lots of photos to share. Sweet hugs, Diane

    1. Yes Diane, you would have enjoyed it a great deal. xo

  2. You certainly made the best of that rainy day!

    1. We sure tried - I can't stand to sit in a hotel room on vacation.

  3. It sounds as if Key West has changed considerably since I visited back in the 80's! Unfortunately, the company was so awful I've not many good memories. But(!) I don't know that Chablis' cheeseburger isn't calling me back. (*smile*)

    1. Seafood honey - I don't know how she could even order a cheeseburger on vacation. LOL

  4. I'd love to tour the Audubon house! I love his drawings. The kids and I studied a lot about him a couple of years ago. The coconut with the straw looked fun, lol.

    1. I'm such a fan of Audubon -I loved reviewing his book.

  5. You're so smart to have a plan B when you are on a 'schedule'! Looks like you and Chablis enjoyed your alternate plan! I imagine in Florida with the weather it's always a good idea!! Thanks for taking us along!!

    1. We usually have so many things we want to do that coming up with a plan B usually isn't much of a stretch. LOL.


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